Project Benefits - Economic Development
Fostering economic vitality was a frequently stated goal of participants in the Project’s public planning process. The Project will meet this goal, resulting in the following outcomes:
- Heritage tourism: Numerous studies have shown that today’s travelers are increasingly seeking “authentic experiences” when choosing a destination. TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travel Trends Report noted that cultural destinations are experiencing a significant growth in visitation, with history and heritage experiences attractions seeing fastest growth (+125% for international travelers; +98% for U.S. travelers). This trend highlights the importance of the preservation of Newport’s authentic colonial core, both physically and experientially, to the city’s tourism sector. Indeed, this was an area of focus in the City’s adopted Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which noted that, “To limit automobile traffic and retain Newport’s iconic 18th and 19th century character, it will be important to connect the southern, northern and eastern parts of the city to the downtown via pedestrian and biking paths.” The Historic Newport Spring Project will greatly help in these efforts by celebrating Newport’s early history, as well as its influence on religious freedom, and supporting the City’s goal of reducing automobile travel in our historic downtown and residential neighborhoods.
- Improving visitor experience: With a notable rise in both family and multi-generational travel across the United States, combined with the increase in Newport’s visitors arriving via cruise ships and motor coach tours, providing safe and easy-to-navigate pedestrian pathways is of growing significance. The Historic Newport Spring Project will help the City to better serve these visitors by improving safety at a central intersection (including ADA-compliant sidewalks), promoting pedestrian passage to Thames Street and Broadway business corridors, and providing space for travelers to find shade and rest during their visit.
- Better access to local businesses: In addition to the positive impact on local businesses due to increased tourism and better way-finding for visitors, the Historic Newport Spring park will link the city’s most active business districts, including Broadway, Long Wharf, Thames Street, and Washington Square, thus supporting increased pedestrian and bicycle activity between these areas by Newport residents in addition to tourists.